Addressing a crowd of over 200 Hispanic business, community and religious groups, Trump discussed his trip on Wednesday to visit the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
“All of America is praying for the wounded and the grieving,” he said. “We will never leave their side.”
He segued from the victims to those ruined in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, the largest hurricane in over 80 years.
“We are also praying for the people of... Puerto Rico, ” the president said, in a heavily affected Spanish accent.
He paused, then repeated again, “We love Puh-er-to Rico,” more breathily, with a slight smile to the stirring crowd.
He said “Puh-er-to” a third time, grinning, then added, in a flatter accent, “And we also love Port-o Rico.”
This comes after weeks of criticisms over the president’s handling of the dire situation in Puerto Rico.
Trump took two weeks to visit the island, and twice shamed the country on his Twitter account. In his Tuesday press conference in San Juan, he joked that the island’s wreckage had thrown his budget “a little out of whack,” and later playfully tossed like basketballs relief supplies into a crowd of those affected. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz slammed Trump as a “miscommunicator-in-chief” and “insulting.”
On Friday, the website for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) removed key metrics about the recovery in Puerto Rico, including that only 9.2 percent of the island has electricity and only half of citizens have drinking water. The numbers left support Trump’s claim that the island is recovering quickly.
Here are his full remarks.