In Puerto Rico, 'the Hospitals Are Still in Crisis'

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"We are not going to be offering a bailout for Puerto Rico or for its current bondholders", he told reporters.

Trump notably called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" during the presidential debates and the phrase was quickly reclaimed by those women who opposed him.

President Trump visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday, 13 days after Hurricane Maria devastated the island - and Stephen Colbert, for one, is very thankful he did. More than half the island is still without electricity or potable water, and aid workers are struggling to deliver food and medical supplies to people living outside major population centers.

"What is really nasty is that anyone would turn their back on the Puerto Rican people", she added.

The five-member FCC unanimously approved "up to seven months of their normal federal support in advance - right now, in a lump sum - to help them fix their networks and restore service to consumers", Pai said.

"That could give Trump the opening to become a party and get involved", said Bruce Markell, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law and a retired bankruptcy judge.

President Donald Trump has told Puerto Rico officials they should be "proud" they did not lose thousands of lives as in "a real catastrophe like Katrina".

Trump pledged an all-out effort to help the island while adding, somewhat lightly: "Now I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico".

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He was also lobbed rolls of paper towels into a crowd at a church in what was seen as a odd and insensitive approach to hurricane relief.

Before the storm, the island's government was in the midst of bitter negotiations with creditors to restructure a portion of its $73 billion in debt.

Of that, $13bn would be for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, while the other $16bn would be for the government-backed flood insurance programme. "And that's fine. We've saved a lot of lives".

As reports emerged that some Puerto Rico residents were forced to eat dog food in a medical clinic, while others were rationing water, Trump on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) sat in a plane hangar, heaped praise on himself and his team, and sought affirmation from federal and local leaders.

"As far as the comment made about wiping the debt clean, that is the opinion of the president", said Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello at a news conference. "If people of Puerto Rico had power and could watch TV, they might differ".

Mulvaney, who spoke to Mr. Trump after his interview, said that the president meant the island would have significant costs related to rebuilding efforts and would receive robust assurances from the federal government. "They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort".

In addition to the briefing with local officials, the president and first lady Melania Trump also will "visit with individuals impacted" by the deadly storm, according to the White House schedule.