Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that that one of his administration’s “best jobs” was the response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico last year, storms that officials estimate led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, approximately the same amount of people that dies on 9/11.
Trump was asked what lessons the government could take from 2017 as the federal government prepares for Hurricane Florence to barrel into the mid-Atlantic coast later this week.
“I think probably the hardest one we had by far was Puerto Rico because of the island nature, and I actually think it was one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office briefing on the path of Florence.
“The job that FEMA, and law enforcement and everybody did working along with the governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous,” Trump added. “I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.”
He went on to tout that the government received “A pluses” for its work in Texas and Florida following hurricanes last year.
Trump has routinely given himself high marks for the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria, describing the recovery efforts a “10” and calling it “tremendous.”
He has maintained that positivity even after the island’s government acknowledged that nearly 3,000 people died because of the storm.
Puerto Rico’s government-owned utility announced last month that it had restored electricity to all of its customers, nearly 11 months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
Trump spoke to reporters Tuesday about the government’s effort to assess Hurricane Florence and its potential impacts when it makes landfall this week near the Carolinas.
“The safety of American people is my absolute highest priority,” he said. “We are sparing no expense. We are totally prepared. We are ready. We’re as ready as anybody’s ever been.”
During briefing on approach of Hurricane #Florence, Pres. Trump calls government's response to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria "tremendous."
— ABC News (@ABC) September 11, 2018