'Big decisions will have to be made': Trump shares ominous message on future of Puerto Rico

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning to defend his administration's handling of the crisis in Puerto Rico, but left questions as to how the recovery efforts will be financed.

"Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello just stated: 'The Administration and the President, every time we've spoken, they've delivered......'" he wrote, adding "...The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!"

The president has faced increasing criticism for what some describe as a slow or failed response to the devastation that Hurricane Maria left in its wake after it pummeled the island on September 20 only a few days after Hurricane Irma swept through. The storms killed more than a dozen people and have left the nation's 3.4 million residents without power. 

See how the island has been destroyed: 

20 PHOTOS
Hurricane Maria's destruction in Puerto Rico
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Hurricane Maria's destruction in Puerto Rico
COROZAL, PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 27: Irma Maldanado stands with Sussury her parrot and her dog in what is left of her home that was destroyed when Hurricane Maria passed through on September 27, 2017 in Corozal, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico experienced widespread damage including most of the electrical, gas and water grid as well as agriculture after Hurricane Maria, a category 4 hurricane, passed through. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A car is viewed stuck in a flooded street in Santurce, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 21, 2017. Puerto Rico braced for potentially calamitous flash flooding on Thursday after being pummeled by Hurricane Maria which devastated the island and knocked out the entire electricity grid. The hurricane, which Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello called 'the most devastating storm in a century,' had battered the island of 3.4 million people after roaring ashore early Wednesday with deadly winds and heavy rain. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO SEPTEMBER 20: Fishing boats with severe damage at Club Nautico in the San Juan Bay. Hurricane Maria passed through Puerto Rico leaving behind a path of destruction across the national territory. San Juan September 20, 2017. (Photo by Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO SEPTEMBER 20: Hurricane Maria passed through Puerto Rico leaving behind a path of destruction across the national territory. San Juan September 20, 2017. (Photo by Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO SEPTEMBER 20: Trees block the streets after Hurricane Maria at Escambron Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. (Photo by Pablo Pantoja/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Men walk past damaged homes after the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017. Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on, cutting power on most of the US territory as terrified residents hunkered down in the face of the island's worst storm in living memory. After leaving a deadly trail of destruction on a string of smaller Caribbean islands, Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico's southeast coast around daybreak, packing winds of around 150mph (240kph). / AFP PHOTO / Hector RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO SEPTEMBER 20: Trees block the streets after Hurricane Maria at Escambron Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. (Photo by Pablo Pantoja/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO SEPTEMBER 20: A local shop sustained damages after Hurricane Maria at Ponce de Leon Street in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. (Photo by Pablo Pantoja/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A man looks for valuables in the damaged house of a relative after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO SEPTEMBER 20: Trees block the streets after Hurricane Maria at Escambron Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. (Photo by Pablo Pantoja/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Damaged electrical installations are seen after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria en Guayama, Puerto Rico September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
A man walks close to damaged houses after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Agapito Lopez looks at the damage in his house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Guayama, Puerto Rico September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
TOPSHOT - A man rides his bicycle through a damaged road in Toa Alta, west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 24, 2017 following the passage of Hurricane Maria. Authorities in Puerto Rico rushed on September 23, 2017 to evacuate people living downriver from a dam said to be in danger of collapsing because of flooding from Hurricane Maria. / AFP PHOTO / Ricardo ARDUENGO (Photo credit should read RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 25: People sit in their apartment after the window was blown out by the winds of Hurricane Maria as it passed through the area on September 25, 2017 in San Juan Puerto Rico. Maria left widespread damage across Puerto Rico, with virtually the whole island without power or cell service. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 25: A flooded street is seen as people deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on September 25, 2017 in San Juan Puerto Rico. Maria left widespread damage across Puerto Rico, with virtually the whole island without power or cell service. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 25: People sit in their apartment with the window blown out by the winds of Hurricane Maria as it passed through the area last week on September 25, 2017 in San Juan Puerto Rico. Maria left widespread damage across Puerto Rico, with virtually the whole island without power or cell service. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - SEPTEMBER 25: A flooded street is seen as people deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on September 25, 2017 in San Juan Puerto Rico. Maria left widespread damage across Puerto Rico, with virtually the whole island without power or cell service. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
An aerial photo shows damage caused by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 27, 2017. Picture taken September 27, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
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Reports of urgent medical needs and even food and water shortages have emerged in recent days. The president defended his response in a series of tweets sent late Thursday as well, praising the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and first responders.

"FEMA & First Responders are doing a GREAT job in Puerto Rico," he wrote in the tweet. "Massive food & water delivered. Docks & electric grid dead. Locals trying really hard to help but many have lost their homes. Military is now on site and I will be there Tuesday. Wish press would treat fairly!"

"Puerto Rico is devastated. Phone system, electric grid many roads, gone. FEMA and First Responders are amazing. Governor said 'great job," he added.

SEE MORE: Half of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico faces lack of drinking water

But reports suggesting a slow response have fueled criticism, especially from Democrats. 

"There is a crisis in Puerto Rico. Fuel, water & medicine sitting at the docks. Need immediate response by US military. Where is the cavalry?" Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, of Florida, tweeted about the crisis. 

Nelson's fellow Floridian in the Senate, Republican and former presidential candidate Marco Rubio, has also been critical of the response, without directly calling the president out.

He also shared a political cartoon on Thursday which depicts him carrying the entire island on his back. 

He also responded to the Trump administration's announcement that Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan had been assigned to coordinate the response efforts with a call for less bureaucracy. 

SEE MORE: Eerie photos show Puerto Rico's cities at night after Hurricane Maria left the island powerless

"Good that 3star general going to #PuertoRico. Now give him the authority to restore logistics without bureaucracy," he wrote on Twitter.

Trump has been criticized for delaying a waiver of the Jones Act, a law that requires all shipping to run on American owned and operated vessels exclusively. Critics, including Puerto Rican officials, complained the law was waived earlier for both Texas and Florida in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The White House announced the act would be waived on Thursday morning. 

 

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