President Trump Meets With Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello…

Earlier this afternoon President Donald Trump met with Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico in the oval office.

[Raw Transcript – Not Yet finalized]  President Trump – “It’s great to have the governor of Puerto Rico with us and we have gotten to know each other extremely well over the last couple of weeks. And I can tell you, you are a hard working governor. It’s a tough situation. So much has to be rebuilt, even from before.

The difference between Texas and Florida and various places is, we’re looking at designs of a new power plant that big electrical plant and many different designs and concepts, which of course, is very unusual because it was in pretty rough shape prior. And now, it’s in even rougher shape … with that being said, I think we’ve done a really great job and we’ve had tremendous cooperation from the governor. And we are getting there and people are really seeing the effort that’s been put into Puerto Rico.

It’s been a very, very difficult situation for many people. I will say that especially the island nature, if you look at getting food there … the distribution was very difficult because the roads were blocked and even the people of Puerto Rico couldn’t get to their food. In many cases, because of the distribution centers and the roads were in really horrific shape because of the storm and sometimes because of before the storm. But with that being 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 themselves in this governor. This governor has worked as hard as anybody I’ve seen. And getting done. So, just thank you for all your help.”

GovernorRossell followed the president with his own remarks:

“Thank you Mr. President. Thank you for setting this opportunity. You know, it’s a catastrophic situation in Puerto Rico. As you know, it is the only time where two category four, category five hurricanes have passed back to back in a jurisdiction in the United States. But certainly working in a united front we are going to beat this.

We’re going to build better than before. And today, it’s an example. And Mr. President, I don’t think, in the history of Puerto Rico, we’ve had the opportunity we’ve had today to sit with members of your Cabinet, decision makers, and not only talk about what we’ve done, but also the path forward to establish a commitment to treat the citizens of Puerto Rico, the U.S. citizens, proud U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico.

So, while there has been a lot done and I want to thank you personally Mr. President you answered our call for the pre-land emergency declaration, you declared Puerto Rico a disaster area very quickly … a verbal request that we made because we didn’t have electricity at that moment, you gave us the waiver for A/B, A and B for FEMA, and staunch communication with all of your members. Now, we recognize that a lot of it has been done, but a lot has still has to be done.

So we’re hopeful that, with this meetings that we’re going to have, we’re going to talk about the immediate needs for Puerto Rico, what we need to do to get out of the life sustaining phase, what we need to do to stabilize Puerto Rico, and of course, what we need to do to build Puerto Rico stronger and better than before. I am confident that, with your commitment and with your support Mr. President, with your teams support, we will be able to come out of this in the long haul together with Puerto Rico and give the U.S. citizens 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 Mr. President.

I know you are a proponent of public/private partnerships. And I think there is an opportunity here to leverage growth in the energy sector and to be innovative. Not only rebuild what we had in the past, but also with the aid of the federal government, and with the private sector, rebuild a much more, much stronger platform, and not only have Puerto Rico have energy, but actually be a model of sustainable energy and growth towards the future. Those are our aspirations.

I think we can talk about that in the education sector, in the health care sector, and those are all of our aspirations. We are confident that, within this group, we will start addressing those poignant short term needs, but also talking about the long road ahead, working together, working together with your administration.

And again I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico for your leadership, for your teams’ leadership, and for having a commitment to stay with the people of Puerto Rico, the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico here for the long haul, to not just put things back together again, but to rebuild them as it should.”

President Trump then continued to speak.

“Thank you governor, one of the things we have done is delivered to the island massive numbers of generators for electricity, because with the power plants down and in such bad shape, we really had to find some way to get especially for the hospitals and certain other areas. And we have, I don’t know if it’s record numbers, but it’s got to be pretty close record numbers of generators so that we have electric in the most important locations. And step-by-step bringing it back. But you can’t really bring electric back until you rebuild the power plant and that’s obviously a different level of subject.

With that, I will say that I have given my blessing to Congress and Congress is working with you and your representatives on coming up with a plan and a payment plan and how it’s all going to be funded. Because you are talking about some substantial numbers and I guess you knew that. But I know you were talking about rebuilding your electric plant long before the hurricane. You’d been wanting to do that for a long time.”

“That’s right,”Rossell said.

Trump continued:

“So, maybe this is a reason you can do it and we’ll help you and we’ll all do it together. But I will say this, the people of Puerto Rico are amazing. Just incredible people, the spirit they have, the strength they have, what they’ve gone through. Many were isolated in areas where there were no roads, there were no bridges. The bridges were wiped out. It really was incredible to watch the spirit that they have and they did it with grace, they did it with a smile in many cases. It was really something beautiful to watch. So just please extend all of our warmest regards and we’re with you.”

The pair then took questions.

♦President Trump what grade between one and ten he would give the White House response?

“I’d say it was a ten. I’d say it was probably the most difficult when you talk about relief, when you talk about search, when you talk about all of the different levels, and even when you talk about lives saved. If you look at the number, I mean this was, I think, it was worse than Katrina. It was in many ways worse than anything people have ever seen.”

♦If President thinks Puerto Rico should become a state?

“Well, we’re not talking about that now,” Trump said. “You’ll get me into trouble with that question.”

Trump then asked to “hold that one” for “a later time.”

Trump was also asked if he had a prediction for today’s budget vote. He predicted Republicans would succeed:

“I think we’ll be successful tonight and it will be possibly sometime in the morning, maybe sooner. i think we have the votes for the budget, which will be phase one of our massive tax cuts and reform. But I think we’ll be successful tonight with respect to the budget.”

After offering his budget prediction, Trump then expressed optimism about the prospects for tax reform.

“Frankly, I think we have the votes with the tax cuts, which will follow fairly shortly thereafter,” Trump said.

Rossell did not offer a number when asked if he could also rate the White House response from one to ten, though he was complimentary. At one point, Trump asked Rossell to assess the response.

“Did the United States, did our government, when we come in, did we do a great job? Military, first responders, FEMA, did we do a great job?”

This was Rossell’s answer:

“You responded immediately sir and you did so you know Tom and Brock, they have been on the phone with me essentially every day since the disaster. We recognize that there are some logistical limitations that we have in Puerto Rico. We didn’t have the ports open for a couple of days.

We didn’t have the airports open at full capacity until about a day or two ago. So, that was always a great limiting step. But if you consider that we’ve gotten, even with those obstacles, we’ve gotten about 15,000 DOD personnel in Puerto Rico, about 2,000 FEMA personnel, HHS and others. The response is there. Do we need to do a lot more? Of course we do and I think everyone over here recognizes there’s a lot of work to be done in Puerto Rico. But with your leadership sir and with everybody over here we’re committed to achieving that in the long run.”

Trump was also asked for thoughts on President George W. Bush’s speech.

“I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it,” he said.

On health care, Trump was asked if he supports the Alexander-Murray bill.

“I like people working on plans at all times. I think, ultimately, block grants is the way to go,” Trump said.

The president continued to discuss health care:

“Various states really wanted that block grant money. And for the most part, I think we have the votes for that. There will be a transition period so anything they’re working on will be short term. It’ll be absolutely short term because, ultimately, we will be it’s going to be repeal and replace. So, I have great respect, as you know, for both of the senators that you mentioned and if they can come up with a short term solution. What i did say though is, I don’t want the insurance companies making any more money … than they have to.”

Trump then clarified that short term means “one year to two years max.”

“Because I think we have the votes. We’re certainly within one vote and when you’re within one vote, we’re able to get it,” Trump said of health care, adding, “Votes are very fragile. We found that out and we’ve seen that. I’ve learned that. I thought we had it the last time and somebody came out of the blue and voted against it. So, now we start the process all over again.”

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38 Responses to President Trump Meets With Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello…

  1. Eric C. says:

    Too hard to say: “you did and are doing an amazing job”? Politicians are always scheming.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Jennifer Kashani says:

      Yes I can’t believe he refused to say they did a great job! He was sitting there in the Oval Office at the invitation of the president who has approved all of his requests for help and refuses to give any word of praise or appreciation to these amazing first responders who were also sitting right there in front of him! Unbelievable!

      Liked by 4 people

    • fleporeblog says:

      This POS Governor is looking for a complete wipe out of their debt! He wasn’t happy hearing that the US Government will go to the front of the line as the pay their debt back. Our President made that clear as day!

      Liked by 6 people

      • Ditch Mitch says:

        Ricardo is the consummate politician and son of a previous governor. He defended PDJT until PDJT says that the PR debit will be have to be taken care of. My guess, PDJT will endorse Jenniffer González-Colón PR’s lone congresswoman. She worked with PDJT and FEMA from the start and was in on every meeting. Since PR has only one congressional seat, she has already had “national” exposure”.

        Liked by 6 people

      • THru Dr T says:

        Ricky is a real schmuck and a user. Have known him and his thief daddy dearest ( former governor of PR) for many years . They should be ashamed but that’s not a concept they understand. His daddy thieved so much money from the federal monies given to PR and never used any of it to rebuild the electrical plants nor any infrastructure. Puertorricans deserve everything that happens to them: they are the most political partisan group you will ever meet and they hate USA. Their motto is Puerto Rico first!!! We are puertorricans!!! We get to go to Miss Universe with our own Miss PR!!! We get to go to the Olympics with our own beloved PR flag but we burn the USA flag at every opportunity!!! Yay!! Cut them loose!!! What a shmuck this Ricky is . Appalling

        Liked by 2 people

      • Well, there’s no free ride!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. n1ghtcr4wler says:

    the gov is very excited it seems

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If Trump is correct that a new power plant is needed that wilwould take years to get permitted, designed, reviewed, approved and built, even in the least corrupt and bureaucratic location. Look for delays to be blamed on Trump and not the PR corruptocrats.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dennis Leonard says:

      Bucky,Puerto Rico is not a state and can do anything they want.I doubt their is anything in place you describe.Just like Mexico,a little cash to grease the the deal and we have a power plant.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Guyver1 says:

        Dennis, when I was stationed at the USCG base in San Juan, the Coast Guard was trying to buy a property in a place called San Patricio, to build new Coast Guard housing (the old CG housing in Isla Verde was literally falling apart).
        The deal agreed to was that the CG would transfer the Isla Verde property to the island government (it was in a very desirable location for commercial development) and pay money to the island government on top of that, in exchange for the San Patricio property.
        One day the base CO called an all hands meeting to let us know the deal had been called off by the Coast Guard.
        What happened?
        On the final meeting, the corrupt island government representatives flat out and openly demanded 250,000 dollars (about 500,000 dollars today), to go right into their pockets ‘under the table’, in order to finalize the transfer and sale.
        The Coast Guard balked and told them “We do not operate that way”, the local pols told them “Pay us or no deal.”
        So the Coast Guard said “No deal, then”, and walked away.
        That party was voted out of power on the next election.
        The party that came into power contacted the Coast Guard and offered to carry out the deal as agreed to, without any ‘under the table’ payments (which means they had decided to scam not the federal government, but whoever got the property from the island government in the future.)
        And that is how the San Patricio Coast Guard Housing, west of San Juan, came to be…
        I was born and raised in PR, so I know… corruption, at every level, is a way of life down there. It was one of the many reasons why I left back in 1977…

        Liked by 7 people

        • Guyver1 says:

          Correction- Isla Grande, not Isla Verde.
          If you look on Google Earth, it is where the Pedro Rossello Convention Center was built- named after a former governor, the present governor’s father.
          What a coincidence, eh?
          Guaranteed that somebody made big money under the table on that one…

          Liked by 3 people

        • THru Dr T says:

          Guyver: I was not born in PR but my family has been there since the early 1900s. However , I did grow up part of my life there and know exactly what you mean about the corruption. I also left after 1977 to an Ivy League college, became a doctor and now live in California. My brother continues to run the business started by our great grandparents and he still lives there. We go to PR for Christmas every couple of years. I’ve known these Rosello
          Shmucks and many other corrupt politicians for decades .
          It’s awful . They make the Chicago corrupt politicians look like choirboys. ALL of the island is corrupt at ALL levels!!
          You’ll be glad to hear the following real story of what I was able to accomplish all the way out from here in California: a corrupt judge was bought and paid for by some attorneys attempting to take away part of my grandparents and dad’s estate as we own ( my brother my sister and I ) a prime ocean front land in Isla Verde. I fought them tooth and nail and had to spend 500 grand but I WON. They not only took away his judgeship post but disbarred him by the Supreme Court of PR.
          My brother said I’d fail and not to go against the corruption. I stood my ground and did what was right.
          When President Trump won I felt so vindicated in his words of wisdom : Never give up . It was an awful and time consuming experience but I WON big time. And it feels great!!!

          Liked by 7 people

          • Guyver1 says:

            Well done!!!
            The corrupt judges are among the worst, and you took one down!!!
            Not only that, by standing your ground, fighting, and winning, you saved a bunch of innocent people who do not have the resources to fight the corruption from getting raked over the coals in the future by that corrupt judge!!!
            Well done, never give up!!!

            Liked by 3 people

            • THru Dr T says:

              Thank you. It was a tough and expensive road to travel but I just couldn’t let them win with corruption and take away what my dad and grandparents had worked so hard for. Yes , many other people who would’ve been railroaded by this corrupt judge called “the barbaric judge ” in the press will not be abused by him. Next stop : I’m suing the corrupt attorneys involved in the corrupt scheme in Federal Court. Will update . God bless

              Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      They could, if so desired, set a GE turbo generator and have it up and running not much longer than would take GE to ship. Forget gvt handouts. Sounds like an excellent free enterprise opportunity.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Ditch Mitch says:

      Naw, Tesla said it will build a solar plant to supply the whole Island (using gov’t subsidies). With rain over 200 days a year and overcast most of the rest, they will get just enough energy to light up the casinos in San Juan.

      Liked by 7 people

  4. Michael says:

    Ingrate

    thankless adj.grateful, unappreciative, difficult
    16
    unappreciative adj.thankless, rude, grateful
    16
    unthankful adj.thankless, grateful, rude

    Liked by 3 people

  5. bitterlyclinging says:

    No matter how well DJT does in hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, it well never be reported on fairly by the MSM.
    James O’Keefe undercover video records NYT IT consultant who explains they hate President DJT at the Times “Like the plague”.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2017/10/undercover-video-nyt-it-consultant-agrees-paper-unfairly-reports-on-trump/#more-230584

    Liked by 8 people

  6. n1ghtcr4wler says:

    Puerto Rico basically needs a military regime to take over and root out the corruption

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Sunshine says:

    I doubt the Governor was plundering the supplies. But he knows the elected officials are corrupt. He knows the names and it’s up to him to severely denounce what’s happening in his country.
    Hopefully, this is the renaissance of a new government.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Guyver1 says:

      I am telling my relatives down there that this is the one chance for the island’s population to pull their heads out of their collective rear end, start from scratch, and this time do things right.
      I honestly doubt it will happen, but this is their one chance to do it.
      They need to fill the jails with corrupt pols and their cronies, and do things right…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. LKA in LA says:

    The Puerto Ricans pay no Federal income taxes. They receive Social Security benefits, welfare, foodstamps. Google their paid days off and you will see their work ethic.

    During their election period, the politicians ride in the back of pick up trucks through the rural mountain areas and small towns blasting, via speakers, anti American propaganda to gin up the ignorant. Have seen it myself. Depends on who gets in if English is taught in the schools. Their entire gimmack is to gin the Puerto Ricans up against white Americans. They want their “heritage” but whitey to pay for it. They do not want to be a tourist island but have zero to export. They are a frustrated victim class with arrogant attitudes.

    Google their debt and brush up because this situation has been going on for 7-10 yrs. They had a mass exodous long before the hurricaine due to the government corruption. Google what the mass exodous has done to Orlando. They will now pillage the US government because they will now be a voting block and we will all be held hostage to it.

    Liked by 6 people

    • THru Dr T says:

      Wow . So well said. Arrogant group indeed. They love love their heritage but have no respect for ours . Spanish is the official language and they want to keep it that way. Arrogant to the nth degree. Especially those that consider themselves to be “upper class” and “”white” such as Ricky and his daddy dearest. I truly despise them. However, having said that, there are many good people in the mountain regions of the island but unfortunately they are all involved in partisan politics: each tiny enclave is a “town” with a major that practice a Mafia type of operation and control of the people for freebies etc ..
      Many are poor for generations and they depend on these mafiosi mayors et al.
      There is no hope I’m sorry to report because there are no patriots . The few who actually respect our values have moved to the mainland and are professionals.
      The many who do not respect nor love the USA have moved to the Orlando corridor to receive welfare and vote for Hillary ( they did). I hope that we will grant them their beloved “independence ” as they have been clamoring for years and cut them loose now.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. annieoakley says:

    I want the the food and everything in the garbage addressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TreeClimber says:

    Reading the transcript, it’s obvious he’s just whining and begging for more handouts. What a loser. Hope PDJT wipes Puerto Rico up with him.

    Like

  11. georgiafl says:

    The GOVERNOR and other assorted corruptocrats of Puerto Rico are about to make the acquaintance of something they have never, ever encountered from a US President:
    ACCOUNTABILITY.

    President Trump will make them ALL account for EVERY penny and inspect ALL WORK at the end!!!!

    Trump reads numbers for fun – like other people read pulp fiction.

    Spreadsheets, complicated 100+ page balance sheets, etc. are President Trump’s favorite entertainment (besides rallies and roasting the press and the Democrats on twitter)!!!

    Snort!

    Liked by 7 people

  12. AustinPrisoner says:

    President Trump explained all that construction stuff rather well. It angers me that the leftists are trying to impeach him for having supposed “diminished capacity” or whatever. POTUS has excellent mental faculties for a man his age.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So everyone missed the last question AND LOADED ANSWER by Trump?
    No Transcript of that? Is this the TWILIGHT ZONE?

    Liked by 4 people

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