Donald Trump makes bizarre Katrina death toll reference in Puerto Rico

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Associated Press

President Donald Trump highlighted Puerto Rico's relatively low death toll compared with "a real catastrophe like Katrina" as he opened a tour of the island's devastation today, focusing on the best of the reviews he and his administration are getting rather than criticism of the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

Trump pledged an all-out effort to help the island but added: "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. And that's fine. We've saved a lot of lives."

He said his visit was "not about me" but then praised local officials for offering kind words about the recovery effort and invited one to repeat the "nice things" she'd said earlier.

Trump also singled out Governor Ricardo Rossello for "giving us the highest praise".

"Every death is a horror," he said, "but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina and you look at the tremendous, hundreds of and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, nobody's ever seen anything like this."

In Washington, Republican Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., noted that many people in more remote areas still in dire straits and in need of food and water.

He told CNN, "Let's stop talking about the death count until this is over".

The trip comes a fortnight after Hurricane Maria devastated the island and left residents frustrated at the lack of basic necessities.
Source: Breakfast

It stands at 16 now, and 95 percent of electricity customers remain without power, including some hospitals.

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