Trump's Remarks About Erasing Puerto Rico's Debt Jolt The Markets

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But according to Rosello, 18 more people have died as a result of the storm, mostly as a result of flooding, flying debris and mudslides. In an interview on Fox News last night, the president seemed to suggest that the bondholders aren't going to get their money back.

"I think what you heard the President say is that Puerto Rico is going to have to figure out a way to solve its debt problem", Mulvaney told Bloomberg News.

"We're very proud to be of the Dominican community in Puerto Rico, very proud to help our brothers and sisters".

Still, he said, that was enough to keep the power on, and the nursery did not "have to worry about trees falling on the power lines".

Trump's association with Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria struck the island has been tetchy, with San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz accusing the US president's administration of "killing us with the inefficiency".

Bondholder Aurelius Investments LLC is trying to have that law, known as Promesa, declared unconstitutional, which would throw the restructuring into chaos.

This is Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on CNN this morning.

Not surprisingly, much of the coverage surrounding the trip was negative or snarky in tone - payback for Trump's perceived insensitivity to Puerto Rico, as well as his budget joke. They don't want to do that.

SIEGEL: Those remarks sent the price of Puerto Rico's bonds tumbling. We also put ourselves in the position of the person being comforted, as he makes us feel cared for and protected even at a tragic moment.

Two weeks after Hurricane Maria caused an unprecedented level of damage to Puerto Rico, a massive federal response including the deployment of more than 12,000 federal responders has helped stabilize the situation. The number of people in shelters has also decreased. "But right now there is no Dominican, there is no Puerto Rican, there is no poor, there is no rich. Right now, we all are one", he says.

When that is accomplished, Trump will deserve the praise he seeks.

Another option: the Justice Department becomes a party to the bankruptcy, which would give the White House the chance to directly influence a final restructuring plan of the island's debt load and what Wall Street creditors get repaid. But if in the coming weeks and months the people of Puerto Rico are eating dog food, begging for clean water and scrounging for medication, this very real catastrophe will become far worse. A lot of other investors were just, you know, retirees, small-time investors.

For whatever combination of reasons - a demanding father, a lifetime spent as a bombastic salesman - Trump feels an unquenchable need to characterize anything that might reflect on him, no matter how remotely, as a smashing success, and that takes precedent over any other consideration.

Rural areas have not yet even been visited and assessed because they're inaccessible. "When you can't get dialysis, you are dying".

The blame-sharing for the treacle-slow start to the federal government's recovery efforts in Puerto Rico will not end soon.

Cruz was angry Trump mentioned the debt and the infrastructure challenges.