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As Trump whips up controversy over Puerto Rico, Rubio calls for less 'noise'

President Trump tosses paper towels in Puerto Rico (Associated Press)
President Trump tosses paper towels in Puerto Rico (Associated Press)
Published Oct. 13, 2017
Updated Oct. 13, 2017

WASHINGTON - When Sen. Marco Rubio criticizes President Trump it often comes subtly, as appeared to be the case Friday morning when Rubio weighed in on the “noise” surrounding Puerto Rico.

“Filter out the noise & focus on the task. We will help our fellow Americans in #PuertoRico help themselves as much & for as long as it takes,” Rubio wrote on Twitter.

It comes after Trump a day earlier suggested the U.S. could pull back aid from Puerto Rico.

“We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump said while commenting on the poor financial state of Puerto Rico.

Related: Trump blasts Puerto Rico, says island was 'disaster before hurricanes'

Trump’s comments in general about Puerto Rico — and questions about his seriousness toward the crisis there — have stirred controversy. Other political figures were more willing to confront him than Rubio.

“Trump continues to treat Americans in Puerto Rico as second-class citizens,” U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, told NBC News. “He wouldn’t be saying this about federal recovery efforts in Texas or Mississippi.”

On Friday, Trump had changed his tune. “The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the H’s. I will always be with them!”