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Mario Tama/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
SAN ISIDRO, PUERTO RICO - OCTOBER 15: Uncollected debris stand near damaged homes in an area without electricity on October 15, 2017 in San Isidro, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is suffering shortages of food and water in many areas and only 15 percent of grid electricity has been restored. 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, swept through. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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title:  duration: 00:00:00 site:  author:  published:  intervention: yes description: Radio Isla had access to vans that contained water, food, medicine and hundreds of open boxes, many of them with reptile waste and in a state of decomposition. According to sources, the supplies were for the victims of the hurricanes.
Radio Isla
title: duration: 00:00:00 site: author: published: intervention: yes description: Radio Isla had access to vans that contained water, food, medicine and hundreds of open boxes, many of them with reptile waste and in a state of decomposition. According to sources, the supplies were for the victims of the hurricanes.
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MOROVIS, PUERTO RICO - DECEMBER 20:  A resident, whose home remains without electricity, watches as debris is removed on December 20, 2017 in Morovis, Puerto Rico. Barely three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, approximately one-third of the devastated island is still without electricity and 14 percent lack running water. While the official death toll from the massive storm remains at 64, The New York Times recently reported the actual toll for the storm and its aftermath likely stands at more than 1,000. Puerto Rico's governor has ordered a review and recount as the holiday season approaches.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images/File
MOROVIS, PUERTO RICO - DECEMBER 20: A resident, whose home remains without electricity, watches as debris is removed on December 20, 2017 in Morovis, Puerto Rico. Barely three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, approximately one-third of the devastated island is still without electricity and 14 percent lack running water. While the official death toll from the massive storm remains at 64, The New York Times recently reported the actual toll for the storm and its aftermath likely stands at more than 1,000. Puerto Rico's governor has ordered a review and recount as the holiday season approaches. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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With hurricane season starting June 1, CNN returns to Puerto Rico to see if the island is ready for another storm. Nine months after Maria, 20,000 homes are still without power- and going into the season, many mayors are worried that even a small storm will plunge them back into darkness and repeat the crisis all over again. We witness desperate Puerto Ricans illegally and dangerously turning on their own power, and press officials for answers on what will change this time around.
CNN
With hurricane season starting June 1, CNN returns to Puerto Rico to see if the island is ready for another storm. Nine months after Maria, 20,000 homes are still without power- and going into the season, many mayors are worried that even a small storm will plunge them back into darkness and repeat the crisis all over again. We witness desperate Puerto Ricans illegally and dangerously turning on their own power, and press officials for answers on what will change this time around.
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Guest: Mayor Carmen Cruz from San Juan, PR (Facetime) Anderson in Studio 73 / Control 71 (channel 67)   Please record CTL 7100 Switched Please record CTL 7103 Clean Switched Please record CTL 7138 AC ISO Please record CTL 7139 Splits Please record CTL 7140 Big Smalls Please record GFX 905 Cruz ISO
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Guest: Mayor Carmen Cruz from San Juan, PR (Facetime) Anderson in Studio 73 / Control 71 (channel 67) Please record CTL 7100 Switched Please record CTL 7103 Clean Switched Please record CTL 7138 AC ISO Please record CTL 7139 Splits Please record CTL 7140 Big Smalls Please record GFX 905 Cruz ISO
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SAN ISIDRO, PUERTO RICO - OCTOBER 05:  Kids bike in an area without grid power or running water about two weeks after Hurricane Maria swept through the island on October 5, 2017 in San Isidro, 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, swept through.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images
SAN ISIDRO, PUERTO RICO - OCTOBER 05: Kids bike in an area without grid power or running water about two weeks after Hurricane Maria swept through the island on October 5, 2017 in San Isidro, 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, swept through. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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MOROVIS, PUERTO RICO - DECEMBER 20:  A resident, whose home remains without electricity, watches as debris is removed on December 20, 2017 in Morovis, Puerto Rico. Barely three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, approximately one-third of the devastated island is still without electricity and 14 percent lack running water. While the official death toll from the massive storm remains at 64, The New York Times recently reported the actual toll for the storm and its aftermath likely stands at more than 1,000. Puerto Rico's governor has ordered a review and recount as the holiday season approaches.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images/File
MOROVIS, PUERTO RICO - DECEMBER 20: A resident, whose home remains without electricity, watches as debris is removed on December 20, 2017 in Morovis, Puerto Rico. Barely three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, approximately one-third of the devastated island is still without electricity and 14 percent lack running water. While the official death toll from the massive storm remains at 64, The New York Times recently reported the actual toll for the storm and its aftermath likely stands at more than 1,000. Puerto Rico's governor has ordered a review and recount as the holiday season approaches. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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A Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority brigade work in a remote off-road location to repair a downed power transmission line in Ponce, Puerto Rico on November 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ricardo ARDUENGO / TO GO WITH AFP STORY By Leila MACOR, US-PuertoRico-power-weather-reconstruction-hurricane        (Photo credit should read RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images)
RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images/FILE
A Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority brigade work in a remote off-road location to repair a downed power transmission line in Ponce, Puerto Rico on November 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ricardo ARDUENGO / TO GO WITH AFP STORY By Leila MACOR, US-PuertoRico-power-weather-reconstruction-hurricane (Photo credit should read RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images)
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CNN —  

Only a few paragraphs of Omarosa Manigault Newman’s book are about Puerto Rico. But their claims are significant: that President Donald Trump lacked empathy in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath and that the President and Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to Puerto Ricans in derogatory terms.

The result, the new book titled “Unhinged” alleges, was a slow and cavalier response to the devastation wrought, especially when compared to Trump’s swift and effective handling of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida weeks earlier.

02:05 - Source: CNN
Weir in Puerto Rico: Looks like bomb went off

Manigault Newman, a former senior White House adviser, wouldn’t specify what offensive terms the Trump administration allegedly used when referring to Puerto Ricans, even when pressed to do so during one of her many interviews to promote her book.

CNN has not independently verified her claims, and the White House did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

01:16 - Source: CNN
Omarosa used to be Trump's biggest fan

I was in Puerto Rico when the Category 4 storm tore through the island on September 20. I witnessed much of what the book describes about conditions and response on the ground unfold in real time. The White House has branded Manigault Newman a liar, and many have questioned her tactics, her motives and her accuracy. But based on what I witnessed in Puerto Rico and what I read in her book about the hurricane response, this might be one example where she got it right.

04:05 - Source: CNN
PR death toll may be higher than reported

Here are three claims the book made and my analysis of their veracity.

Claim 1: Trump had a vendetta against the mayor of San Juan

In the book, Manigault Newman says that it would not surprise her if Trump was taking out his ire with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz on the people of Puerto Rico. “I would not put it past Trump to punish the people of Puerto Rico to teach that woman of color a lesson,” she wrote.

01:32 - Source: CNN
Honoré: Trump doesn't care about people of color

Indeed, the President did engage in a very public feud with one of the harshest and most vocal critics of his handling of the crisis. Yulin Cruz was a frequent presence on television and didn’t hold back her low opinion of Trump and his administration’s response.

“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” Yulin Cruz said at one news conference.

Trump struck back swiftly and fiercely.

“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” the President tweeted on September 30 from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he was spending the weekend. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

Yulin Cruz told MSNBC she wasn’t saying anything nasty about the President; she just wanted help.

“Rather than being a commander-in-chief, he’s like a hater-in-chief. He continues to tweet his hate all over the place,” she later told CNN’s Don Lemon.

02:05 - Source: CNN
San Juan mayor calls Trump the 'hater-in-chief'

Claim 2: The administration’s response was too slow

Manigault Newman, who was fired by Kelly last December from her role as the White House Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, also puts much of the blame for what she calls the administration’s “lethargic” response directly on the chief of staff. She says Kelly was slow to approve aid and that he blamed the island for its troubles following Maria.

In those crucial first days after the storm, I did not see any federal agencies leading a sustained rescue and recovery effort. Many Puerto Ricans were doing much of that work themselves, and as people grew more desperate and water became more scarce, I remember many reporters on the ground asking, “Where is the National Guard? Where is FEMA?”

When he was asked – six days after Maria hit – why no federal aid had yet reached Puerto Rico, Trump explained that it was difficult “because it’s on the island – it’s on an island in the middle of the ocean. It’s out in the ocean. You can’t just drive your trucks there from other states.”

Trump says US working hard on hurricane response

02:17 - Source: CNN
Trump on Puerto Rico: Literally destroyed

I saw local officials finally distributing FEMA-provided food for the first time more than a week after I arrived on the island, and not only did the meals mainly consist of sweets and ready-to-eat snack items, also described in Manigault Newman’s book, there were often not enough to go around.

03:59 - Source: CNN
Many still without water in Puerto Rico

In the immediate aftermath of Maria, the President gave himself and his administration a 10 – on a scale of 1 to 10 – for the hurricane response to Puerto Rico. But in a report issued last month, FEMA acknowledged that mistakes were made. The agency concluded it had vastly underestimated the island’s “insufficiently maintained infrastructure.”

Claim 3: Trump and Kelly lacked empathy

The former White House adviser wrote that in a national security meeting after the hurricane struck Puerto Rico, “(Kelly) said, ‘Their infrastructure was already screwed up,’ and suggested the bankrupt government was trying to exploit the hurricane to force the United States to rebuild their electrical grid.

Trump’s lack of empathy about Puerto Rico