Speed Reads


Trump marvels that only 16 people have died in Puerto Rico compared to 'thousands' in 'a real catastrophe like Katrina'

President Trump downplayed the Puerto Rico crisis Tuesday, observing that the death toll in the territory was just "16 people," as compared to the "thousands" killed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"Every death is a horror," Trump said during a visit to the island, "but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with a storm that was really, totally overpowering — nobody's ever seen anything like this — and what is your death count as of this moment? Seventeen?"

"Sixteen," a man informed Trump.

"You can be very proud, 16 people versus in the thousands," Trump said.

Despite widespread criticism of the White House's response to Puerto Rico, where 95 percent of the territory remains without electricity and potable water is scarce two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit, Trump said Tuesday morning that he gives his administration an "A+" for its response.

Still, Trump does have his grievances: "I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you're throwing our budget out of whack," Trump said. Watch below. Jeva Lange