Trump says Puerto Ricans are 'wonderful,' have 'unmatched spirit'

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump and local officials, stops to speak with reporters outside a hurricane relief distribution center at Calvary Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump praised the people of Puerto Rico on Friday, calling them “wonderful” and praising their “unmatched spirit” as the U.S. territorial island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria and he weathers criticism for his handling of the aftermath.

“The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the [hurricanes],” Trump said on Twitter. “I will always be with them!”

Reporting by Justin Mitchell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama