Donald Trump Hints at Relief Cut Backs for Puerto Rico

Officials privately acknowledge serious food shortage in Puerto Rico

Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency Responders

There are now 18 sites in Puerto Rico on the National Priorities List. Much of Puerto Rico's more than 3 million inhabitants are without power and many are without running water 12 days after Hurricane Maria wrecked the island.

Trump tweeted: "We can not keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been incredible (under the most hard circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

Coamo, Puerto Rico, a city of 40,000, does not have access to running water almost two weeks after Hurricane Maria ripped the island colony of the US.

Trump, however, has defended his handling of the situation, suggesting late last month that the US territory's leadership and others on the island were relying too heavily on federal assistance and should do more to help themselves. According to Puerto Rican officials, 64 percent of people have access to water.

Puerto Rico has been reeling since Hurricane Maria struck three weeks ago.

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The mayor tweeted that Trump is "incapable of fulfilling the moral imperative to help the people of PR. Shame on you!"

Mr. Trump, who has been criticized for a slow and not always empathetic response to the storms that ravaged the United States territory, sounded off in a series of early-morning tweets. He has promised that the island will get what it needs.

Photo Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan of the Army, the commander of Joint Task Force Puerto Rico, and soldiers from the Puerto Rico National Guard unloaded critical supplies in Jayuya, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday. As Tom Gjelten reported last night, the island has 78 mayors - and, he added, "They're said to be accustomed to doing their business without interference from above". But the federal relief effort has also hit problems such as reported hoarding by municipal employees, Tom said, citing it as one reason for the "militarization of the aid operation" in Puerto Rico.

Ryan spoke hours after President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that the federal role in assisting the island would be limited. (He must have seen the promotion last Sunday.) See my interview w/Puerto Rico's governor on the island's fiscal disaster prior to the hurricane.

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