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  • Accolades
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President Trump pledged his support to the people of Puerto Rico and Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Wednesday, as Hurricane Maria left a historic trail of destruction across the U.S. territory.

Maria made landfall early Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane packing 155-mph winds — just 2 mph short of Category 5 status — near the southern city of Yabucoa. But by Wednesday afternoon, the storm had been downgraded to a Category 2, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was continuing its westward march toward the Dominican Republic.

The storm had already devastated Puerto Rico, its powerful winds carving holes in the walls of 300-year-old homes, flooding neighborhoods, sucking metal roofs off buildings, downing 100-year-old trees and leaving the entire island without power.

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  • Accolades
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As Puerto Rico remained locked in the cross hairs of Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm that has already devastated the Caribbean island of Dominica and was continuing to gain strength Tuesday, President Trump cautioned residents to be careful and pledged that the United States would be present to assist with the storm's aftermath.

Maria was packing sustained winds of nearly 175 mph and gusts even faster. The eye, a “pinhole” just 10 miles wide, was expected to move near or over St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands late Tuesday and cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

This post contains reporting from staff writer Molly Hennessy-Fiske

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  • Foreign policy
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  • Russia
  • North Korea

President Trump delivered a forceful inaugural speech to a packed United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, a sprawling 42-minute address — warlike at times, flowery at others — that challenged some tenets of U.S. foreign policy.

With the cavernous hall packed so full that scores of people jammed into the aisles, Trump caused a stir when he mocked North Korea’s ruler, Kim Jong Un, as “Rocket Man on a suicide mission” and threatened his “depraved regime.”

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump added.

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President Trump mocked Sunday's Emmy Awards ceremony — where he himself was frequently mocked by host Stephen Colbert, presenters and prize-winners.

The president's Tuesday night tweet was a little off: The show was on Sunday, not Monday, and the ratings didn't quite hit bottom, though they were close. The Nielsen company estimated that 11.4 million people watched, slightly more than last year's lowest-ever audience of 11.3 million.

In his tweet, Trump also referred to a remark Hillary Clinton made during last year's presidential campaign, when she said half of Trump supporters belong in a "basket of deplorables."

  • Foreign policy

In a tweet, President Trump offered assistance to Mexico on Tuesday night, hours after an earthquake devastated parts of the country — including the capital, Mexico City — and killed more than 200 people.

Trump did not extend condolences to Mexico for a week after a deadly earthquake in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas on Sept. 7. Trump blamed poor cellphone reception in the mountains of Mexico for the delay in reaching President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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  • Foreign policy
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President Trump said the United States is prepared to take further action against the Venezuelan government if President Nicolas Maduro continues down the path of authoritarianism.

Trump discussed Venezuela's deepening economic and political crisis while speaking at a dinner in New York with leaders of Brazil, Colombia, Panama and Argentina.

After the dinner, he tweeted a video clip of his remarks:

  • Foreign policy
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President Trump met Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Trump tweeted after the meeting that it was "a great honor" to spend time with Macron, with whom Trump is known to share a close connection.

After reminiscing during the meeting about how much he enjoyed watching France's military parade while in Paris on Bastille Day, Trump also said that he is considering having an armed forces parade in Washington on the Fourth of July to showcase the nation's military might.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump, meeting in New York on Monday, discussed the two leaders’ shared aim of “countering Iran’s malign influence in the region,” the White House said.

After the sit-down, Trump praised Netanyahu in a tweet:

Trump and Netanyahu have previously bonded over mistrust toward Iran. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump denounced the landmark 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers as a terrible deal. Netanyahu had lobbied vehemently against the agreement, irritating the then-Obama administration by using a speech to both houses of Congress to make his case.

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  • Foreign policy
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President Trump used his United Nations debut on Monday to prod the international organization to cut its bloated bureaucracy and sharpen its ill-defined mission. But he also pledged U.S. support for the New York-based world body he had excoriated as a candidate, and his criticisms were more restrained than in years past.

Trump on Monday praised U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who said that he shared Trump's vision for a less wasteful U.N. to "live up to its full potential." The United States has asked member nations to sign a declaration on U.N. reforms, and more than 120 have done so.

True to form, the president also managed to work into his speech a reference to the Trump-branded apartment tower across First Avenue from the U.N.

  • Accolades

President Trump tweeted birthday wishes to the U.S. Air Force and Central Intelligence Agency on Monday.

The CIA and Air Force were created by the National Security Act of 1947. For both organizations, Monday marks the 70th anniversary of their founding.

Trump also honored the Air Force's birthday on Friday with a visit to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.