Trump administration announces nearly $13 billion in aid to Puerto Rico

"I'm the best thing to happen to Puerto Rico," said Trump.

September 18, 2020, 8:44 PM

The White House announced Friday nearly $13 billion in federal aid to help rebuild Puerto Rico's electrical grid system and the education system.

The funding is a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), and the announcement comes as Puerto Rico continues to struggle to fully recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria three years ago.

While touting his administration's action in Puerto Rico by sending additional federal assistance, President Donald Trump said, "I'm the best thing to happen to Puerto Rico."

"We're bringing Puerto Rico back and we'll have it very quickly," Trump added.

Speaking from the White House podium, Trump blamed Democrats for blocking funding for Puerto Rico and said that former Vice President Joe Biden "devastated the island of Puerto Rico."

"In a sense they were voting to destroy Puerto Rico and we're bringing Puerto Rico back," Trump said.

ABC News' Jon Karl pointed out at the presser Trump's reversal on Puerto Rico, citing Trump previously blasting the territory for corruption and vowing to not approve additional aid. He also questioned why the president changed his stance on Congress giving money to Puerto Rico.

Trump responded, "Because we're building it up as a great medical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing area where, you know, we are going to be taking back a lot of the business that we let go for years and we are going to bring it back."

ABC News' Elizabeth Thomas and Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.

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