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Rivera Refutes ‘Fake News’ Stories About Trump Admin’s Response To Puerto Rico

“Whatever you read in the so-called fake news … I think the president and the first lady were …”

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who has been on the ground in Puerto Rico for over a week, refuted media reports that the Trump administration has failed to adequately respond on the island following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“Whatever you read in the so-called fake news … I think the president and the first lady were amazingly gracious and graciously receiving by the grateful Puerto Rican people,” Rivera said on Fox News on Wednesday.

The correspondent then aired his interview with President Donald Trump from Puerto Rico from the day before.

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“They’re special people,” Trump said. “I love the Puerto Rican people.”

Trump admitted it was a “very tough” situation, but the federal response was strong.

“I say we got an A+ in Texas, we got an A+ in Florida, and we may have done our best work here, but it hasn’t been appreciated,” he added, likely referring to members of the media and probably San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz both of whom he had tweeted about over the weekend.

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Rivera picked up on the reference, noting that Cruz, who is a likely Democrat candidate for governor in 2020, noticeably did not applaud when Trump came to the island to meet with local officials.

“How do you feel? You’ve been blamed for everything from kids dying to a cholera epidemic that didn’t exist?” Rivera asked the president.

“She was very, very nice at the beginning,” Trump replied, “and all of the sudden I noticed she went a little bit on the nasty side, and I said, ‘I guess she’s running for office.’ And it turns out I was right. Isn’t that a shock?”

Many media outlets seized on Cruz’s claim on CNN late last week that Puerto Rico is a “people are dying” story.

Rivera confronted Cruz on Sunday, asking, “Are people dying? I’ve been traveling around, and I don’t see people dying.”

“Dying is a continuum, right?” the mayor replied, explaining some people are not getting adequate amounts of food and clean water and medical care, and therefore are in the midst of dying.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrongly claimed via Twitter on Saturday that there had been a cholera outbreak on the island. Cholera is spread by bacteria in dirty water.

The tweet was shared over 14,000 times.

The Centers for Disease Control countered Krugman’s claim that same day, apparently prompting the columnist to partially walk back his assertion shortly thereafter.

Appearing on Hannity on Tuesday night, Rivera said the Trump administration is doing good work under difficult circumstances.

Regarding the 34 dead from the storm, Rivera said, “Blame Hurricane Maria for those deaths. Don’t blame President Trump.”

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