Trump Thanks Puerto Rican Governor: He 'Did Not Play Politics'

October 3, 2017

President Donald Trump on Tuesday credited Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló for not playing politics with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Trump traveled to the island amid the devastation that the hurricane brought, and after previously clashing with the mayor of San Juan over relief efforts, Trump thanked Rosselló for his cooperation. Specifically, he credited the governor for appreciating the federal government’s attempts to help.

"Your governor who I didn’t know, I heard very good things about him — he’s not even from my party, and he started right at the beginning appreciating what we did," Trump said. "He was tremendously supportive and he knew the level of problem that you had at the beginning before, and what happened with respect to the tremendous storms that hit your beautiful island."

Trump then addressed Rosselló directly and thanked him for not playing politics with the natural disaster.

"Governor, I just want to tell you that right from the beginning this governor did not play politics, he didn't play it at all," Trump said. "He was saying it like it was, and he was giving us the highest grades. On behalf of our country, I want to thank you."

Trump also praised federal officials for how they have contributed to the relief efforts as well as how they have focused on the task.

"I have to say, General [Jeffrey] Buchanan got here a few days ago, and there’s no doubt about it—you are a general," Trump said.

"He’s no games," Trump said about Buchanan. "I said, ‘I don’t want to have a general that plays games,’ and you have done a fantastic job. The whole team has been amazing."

Trump emphasized that Maria came after FEMA had been stretched thin from the previous hurricanes hitting the U.S., Harvey and Irma, and he said Maria is "the toughest one."

"Brock [Long, FEMA administrator] has been unbelievable," Trump said. "This has been the toughest one. This has been a Category 5 which few people have ever even heard of, a Category 5 hitting land, and boy did it hit land."