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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:

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.