White House fails to explain Trump's 'calm before the storm' comment

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"We love Puerto Rico", he said.

The visit did not go too smoothly for the president. "If the president has a view that the bonds should not be repaid it's a powerful argument".

The 47-year-old hit the stage in the bold ensemble alongside Donald Trump as he took to the podium where he addressed a crowd of leaders gathered in the East Room of the White House. "They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. We are not going to bail out those bondholders".

"As we have said many times before. we're never going to say in advance what the President's going to do, and as he said last night in addition to those comments you're going to have to wait and see", she said when asked by reporters if he was referring to military action.

The moment echoes Trump's celebratory Cinco de Mayo tweet from 2016 in which the then-candidate declared, "I love Hispanics!" while eating a taco bowl from the Trump Tower restaurant.

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White House officials quickly sought to walk back the statement.

"We are also praying for the people of Puerto Rico", he said, emphasizing the first two syllables of the word "Puerto".

"I think this is a president who is living in a constant reality TV show", said Timothy O'Brien, a journalist who wrote "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald" in 2005. Now each individual citizen of Puerto Rico can start your own electric company, drill your own well and build a new roof over your heads all because of the gift of paper towels. Its general-obligation bonds due in 2035, one of the most actively traded securities, changed hands for about 38 cents on the dollar, roughly where the price closed on Wednesday.

The president made his first visit to the island territory on Tuesday after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, which left the entire island without power and destroyed homes and infrastructure.

"Pueeeeerrrto Rico", he told the crowd before saying it without any access later on. Schumer's House counterpart, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, joined calls for the Treasury Department to extend a loan to help Puerto Rico in the short term, as the administration and Congress seek to aid the US territory in rebuilding. They did not comply with rules of agreement, "he said".

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