During a speech in Washington, D.C., on Friday, President Trump said the Hurricane Maria disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico has been complicated because the island is “surrounded by water"

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September 29, 2017 05:33 PM

President Trump has been criticized for what some are calling his lackluster response to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico — and his explanation on Friday did little to help him.

During a speech on his tax plan in Washington, D.C., Trump said the Hurricane Maria disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico has been complicated because the island is “surrounded by water.”

“This is an island, surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water,” the president said.

Now the president is being pilloried on Twitter not just for his hurricane response, but for his “toddler-level” response to that response.

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Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico, leaving many of its 3.4 million residents without power, food and drinking water.

Trump similarly defended his response to Puerto Rico during a news conference on Tuesday, when he said: “It’s very tough because it’s an island. In Texas, we can ship the trucks right out there and we can do — we’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and on Florida, and we will on Puerto Rico. But the difference is it’s an island, sitting in the middle of an ocean.”

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