Trump tweets that FEMA, the military and first responders cannot stay in Puerto Rico forever

Questions arose about the amount of federal help for U.S. territories, compared with aid for states.
2:26 | 10/12/17

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Transcript for Trump tweets that FEMA, the military and first responders cannot stay in Puerto Rico forever
today a warning aimed at Puerto Rico, that FEMA can't be there forever. So, what's to come for the nearly 3.5 million American sit essentials who live there? Here's ABC's senior white house correspondent Cecilia Vega on that. Reporter: From president trump today, a dire warning that federal aid to Puerto Rico may disappear. The president tweeting, "We cannot keep FEMA, the military and the first responders in P.R. Forever." He's been under fire -- We love Puerto Rico. Reporter: -- For his response to hurricane MARIA, throwing paper towels to storm victims during his visit, and bashing the island for its massive debt. But just days ago, a change of tone. The president making this promise -- We will not rest until that job is done. Reporter: Today, Democrats lashed out at that new presidential warning. Mr. President, do not send a message to any American that we will turn our backs on them. That is not fair. It's not right, and you ought to correct the statement you made this morning. The gentlemen is out of order. Reporter: Even the island's governor, an ally of the president's, tweeting, "The U.S. Citizens in Puerto Rico are requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive across our nation." Three weeks after the storm, there are nearly 17,000 FEMA workers in Puerto Rico, but there are also nearly 4,000 in Texas seven weeks after hurricane Harvey, and nearly 3,000 in Florida five weeks after Irma. Does president trump believe that the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens -- Yes. Reporter: -- Who deserve the same access to federal aid as the people who live in Texas and Florida? Yes. Reporter: What is his tweet about then? Our country will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done. But they're not going to be there forever. Cecilia, after that warning that FEMA can't be in Puerto Rico forever from the president today, you learned that FEMA workers spend years helping Americans rebuild, in fact, they're still working on the recovery efforts after hurricane Katrina, 12 years ago. Reporter: They are, David. 165 FEMA workers still on the ground there in Louisiana, but despite the president's tweets today, you heard general Kelly there in the briefing room say that this white house is committed to helping purt Lee koeshgs and today, David, the house approved a disaster relief request from this white house, $365 billion. The senate, David, is experted to vote on this next week. Cecilia say svega with us tonight. We turn now to the release

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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