Former Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré is not buying the White House's good news reports about the Puerto Rico response. The region is currently dealing with an unthinkable humanitarian crisis after being hit by Hurricane Maria, the most dangerous storm to strike the island in 90 years. Honoré, who is credited with cleaning up the mess of a response to Hurricane Katrina, thinks President Trump is celebrating prematurely.
Trump tweeted Thursday that, while the island is devastated, FEMA and first responders deserve to be commended for their efforts. He also noted that they are receiving compliments from Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello.
Puerto Rico is devastated. Phone system, electric grid many roads, gone. FEMA and First Responders are amazing. Governor said "great job!"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 29, 2017
The president didn't quite get the same vote of confidence from Honoré.
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In regards to the White House's positive reports, the retired lieutenant general did not hide his impatience.
“That’s bullsh**,” Honoré responded. “This bureaucratic response is not working. With all due respect to the White House, they’re trying to put lipstick on this pig, but this thing is moving too slow.”
Many would agree the response time seems a bit delayed, but it is moving nonetheless. Right now, 600 FEMA workers are on the ground in Puerto Rico.
The Pentagon announced Wednesday that Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan will be leading the military response to Maria. Honoré praised the appointment, but says it's just another decision that's come too late.