President Trump told residents of Puerto Rico not to believe the "fake news" media regarding the federal response to Hurricane Maria, and said the administration is "getting great marks" for its recovery efforts.
"To the people of Puerto Rico: Do not believe the #FakeNews! #PRStrong," Trump said in a series of tweets Saturday afternoon. "My Administration, Governor @ricardorossello, and many others are working together to help the people of Puerto Rico in every way. #Fake News critics are working overtime, but we're getting great marks from the people that truly matter! #PRStrong"
Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which hit the island as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 20. The hurricane knocked out power for the entire U.S. territory, leaving residents with limited to no access to electricity, Internet, and cell phone service.
Officials believe it will take months to restore power to the island.
Nearly half of Puerto Rico's 3.5 million people don't have access to drinking water, and food, medicine and fuel are scarce.
Trump has been criticized for his response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, and Democrats accused the president of paying more attention to NFL athletes who kneel for the national anthem than to the people of Puerto Rico.
Earlier in the day Saturday, the president attacked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and said she demonstrated poor leadership as the island tries to recover.
But Trump had high praise for the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, and Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, two people he was scheduled to speak with over the phone Saturday from his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J.
"The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, is a great guy and leader who is really working hard. Thank you Ricky!" Trump tweeted.
"Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico has been wonderful to deal with and a great representative of the people. Thank you!" he said in a second tweet, misspelling her name.
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, is a great guy and leader who is really working hard. Thank you Ricky!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico has been wonderful to deal with and a great representative of the people. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
The president also said he spoke with Gov. Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and said the governor praised the administration and U.S. military.
"Just spoke to Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands who stated that #FEMA and Military are doing a GREAT job! Thank you Governor!" Trump tweeted.