Donald Trump Says He'll 'Wipe Out' Puerto Rico's Massive Debt

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San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz did not mince words during a recent press conference.

The company will "closely assess the details of the chairman's proposal as we continue with the recovery and restoration of our network and facilities", it said.

Standing before a table of relief supplies, the president displayed a much softer demeanor than he did days earlier when he criticized the mayor of San Juan's "poor leadership ability" and lamented how the island's leaders "want everything done for them". You may recall him doing the same thing to Hillary Clinton, when calling Clinton a "nasty woman" during the 2016 presidential debates - a statement which American women have since used to oppose Trump. "What really is nasty is showing your back to the Puerto Rican people".

Just last week, Cruz wore a T-shirt that read, "HELP US WE ARE DYING" during an appearance on CNN.

"The response has been slow because USA corporations are trying to figure out how they are going to take over the reconstruction of the colony", Velgara, 68, said.

President Donald Trump has told Puerto Rico officials they should be "proud" they did not lose thousands of lives as in "a real catastrophe like Katrina".

And as tens of thousands of Puerto Rico families are left homeless, he added: "I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack".

Mr Trump was also criticised for playfully lobbing paper towels into a crowd of people at a relief event later that day.

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The federal government lacks the authority to simply do away with Puerto Rico's staggering $74 billion debt, much of which is tied up in a court-supervised restructuring process after the territory sought a form of bankruptcy protection a year ago. To do that, lawyers could point to the fact that because Puerto Rico is a territory, not a state, it's considered property of the USA under the constitution.

During last year's campaign, Trump suggested the USA government could address its own debt problems by renegotiating its bonds and paying less than their face value, remarks that also raised alarms in the markets.

Meanwhile, officials have been prepping for waves of residents that look to depart Puerto Rico for the U.S. Florida Gov. Rick Scott advised the state to ready itself for the extra people as well as for necessitates it may need to house them.

Cruz criticized the Trump administration's hurricane response to the island.

Cruz and Trump met Tuesday during Trump's visit to the storm-ravaged island.

But instead of distinguishing between Puerto Rico's financial crisis and its current humanitarian crisis, Trump chose to lord the island's debt problem over its head.

The president questioned the mayor's leadership ability after Cruz criticized Trump and asked him to focus on relief efforts for the island during a September 29 press conference. "And that's fine. We've saved a lot of lives", he told a gathering.

There will be time for the administration to take credit for Puerto Rico's return to normalcy.