US President Donald Trump has "tremendous accomplishments on the worldwide stage" and he is "keeping the world from chaos", the White House has claimed. And he used an exaggerated Spanish accent several times while saying the territory's name.
"We are also praying for the people of Puerto Rico", Trump said, putting on an accent to laughs from the crowd.
"This is not a comedy show", he exclaimed.
The comments come after Mr Trump fell under fire during a visit to the United States territory earlier this week where he joked that recovery costs after Hurricane Maria had thrown his budget "out of whack" and compared the devastation to a "real catastrophe" like 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
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The crowd gathered at the White House included representatives from more than 200 Hispanic businesses, community groups, and faith groups. "Pwerrrto Rico", he says, poking fun at the pronunciation by using a fake accent. "We appreciate it. Thank you", he added.
According to NBC News, Maria is the most powerful storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century and it could take half a year to restore power.
"What storm? "You will see what it means", said Trump, who refrain from responding to persistent questions in Iran or North Korea?". Before the trip, Ms Cruz had begged the federal government for more aid, warning them that people on the island were dying.
The moment echoes Trump's celebratory Cinco de Mayo tweet from 2016 in which the then-candidate declared, "I love Hispanics!" while eating a taco bowl from the Trump Tower restaurant.