Mulvaney: We'll Help Puerto Rico Rebuild; Must 'Fix Itself' From Debt

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump board Air Force One before departing for Puerto Rico Tuesday

Representative Raul Grijalva, the senior Democrat on the panel, said of PROMESA after the meeting: "I said let's open it up and see what is working and see what is not applicable in this situation, what we need to suspend".

Cruz has been vocal in her criticism of Trump, praising White House officials, but criticizing the president for the administration's overall response.

Trump has been on the defensive about his administration's response to Hurricane Maria. "What is your death count?" As of Tuesday, only about 5 percent of the island's customers had their power restored. Her response could not be heard.

"We're going to work something out", he said.

"I wouldn't take it word for word with that", Mulvaney said on CNN.

In the poll by Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the president drew better marks for his handling of the recoveries after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Ada's family is part of the fortunate few in Puerto Rico.

"There's a lot of love in this room, a lot of love", Trump said.

"16 people certified", Trump said. An estimated 34 people were killed by the hurricane and about 93% of homes there still lacked electricity as of Tuesday. A FEMA official also speaking in San Juan said that it has now received 143,000 applications for assistance. "There are people who do everything for a calculative political motive".

But after Maria struck Puerto Rico, the local mobile phone operator of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim proved more reliable than some U.S. competitors during the early days of the communications outage across the island of 3.4 million people.

Trump said in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity that Cruz was "very nice at the beginning but she went a little bit on the nasty side and I said I guess she's running for office, and it turns out I'm right". It's not only risky, it's expensive.

Before leaving Washington, he said Puerto Ricans who have called the federal response insufficient "have to give us more help".

A number of politicians and celebrities took to social media immediately after to criticize Trump's tweets.

Two in 10 whites, 4 in 10 Hispanics and almost 6 in 10 African-Americans disapprove of the president's response in US states.

In Puerto Rico, more than 90 percent of the island still does not have electricity from the power grid, and half the island does not have drinking water, now more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico's huge debt burden - totaling $73 billion - forced it to file in May for the biggest US municipal bankruptcy in history.

During the meeting with officials, Trump thanked almost every other Puerto Rican leader and federal administrator for the work they'd done to aide Puerto Rico.

"They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort", he continued.

Much of the $74 billion debt is tied up in court-supervised restructuring since Puerto Rico sought a form of bankruptcy protection a year ago. He also seemed to raise false hope that the territory's staggering debt would go away.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there are more than 10,000 U.S. officials on the ground on the island, and 45% of customers now have access to drinking water.

He said local truck drivers are still needed to help distribute supplies.

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