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President Trump meets with political and military representatives for a briefing in Puerto Rico Tuesday. Photo: AP

President Trump met with political and military representatives in Puerto Rico Tuesday to discuss the ongoing recovery effort following Hurricane Maria. Trump, who repeatedly praised the good work of federal responders, also drew comparisons to Hurricane Katrina, suggesting that Puerto Rico should "be very proud" to have fared better:

"Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe, like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody's sever seen anything like this. And what's your death count as of this moment? 17? [Gov. Ricardo Roselló says 16] … 16 versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud. Only 16 instead of thousands in Katrina."

More from the meeting:

  • "I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack. Because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico."
  • To Gov. Rosselló: "He didn't play politics. He told it like it was, gave us the highest marks."
  • "It got hit as a 5 — Category 5 storm, which just literally never happens... few people have even heard of [a Category 5] hitting land. But it hit land."
  • On FEMA, first responders, and others aiding in the recovery: "I've never seen people working so hard in my life."

Video:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight — hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts.

The big picture: Air quality alerts were issued Wednesday for the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.