President Trump welcomed Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello to the White House Thursday, and touted his own administration’s hurricane response as a “10.”
Trump said the federal government has done a “really great job,” and noted that he has given his blessing to Congress for a funding plan to address the storm-ravaged island after Category 4 Hurricane Maria hit last month.
On the sidelines of their meeting, the pair spoke with reporters in the Oval Office, discussing the plan for recovery. Trump noted that the federal government is "looking at designs" for new power plants.
"I think we've done a really great job and have had tremendous cooperation from the governor, and we're getting there," Trump said. "Step by step, it's taken care of and I say we have a wonderful, and the people of Puerto Rico have a wonderful representative with respect to their governor. He's worked harder than anyone I've seen."
Rossello thanked the president for answering all of Puerto Rico's requests.
"We recognize that a lot of it has been done, but a lot still has to be done, and we're hopeful," Rossello said. "I am confident that with your commitment and with your support, Mr. President, with your team's support, we will be able to come out of this in the long-haul together with Puerto Rico, give the U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico the adequate resources, treat us the same as citizens in Texas, in Florida and elsewhere, we will come out of this stronger, and we will make this innovative."
Rossello added that there was "an opportunity" to be innovative for Puerto Rico to be a "model" of sustainable energy and growth.
Trump has received backlash for his response to Puerto Rico after both Hurricanes Irma and Maria last month. Nevertheless, Rossello has been supportive of Trump.
Trump, following up on his tweet from last week, said that Rossello “understands that these folks can’t be there forever,” referring to the military and first responders who are working on the island.
Trump’s tweet last week received backlash, with critics claiming Trump was treating Puerto Rico differently than other areas affected by the storm like Florida, Texas and Louisiana.
Much of the island remains without electricity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.