Officials survey damage in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria.President Trump denied on Tuesday that his administration had been slow to respond to Puerto Rico's hurricane devastation because he'd&nbsp;been distracted by his five-day feud with protesting NFL players.At a news conference in the Rose Garden with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey of Spain, Trump repeatedly said Puerto Rican officials had praised his administration's efforts. Those same officials&nbsp;have begged for more assistance to the island, which suffered grievous damage earlier this month from Hurricane Maria, after a near-hit from Hurricane Irma.On his favorite communications platform, Twitter, Trump had not mentioned Puerto Rico from Sept. 20 until Monday night. In the interim, he had written dozens of tweets, many on his criticisms of NFL players who kneel during the pre-game rendition of the national anthem to protest police brutality toward African Americans."I wasn't preoccupied with the NFL. I was ashamed of what was taking place,"&nbsp;Trump said in reply to a question.He pressed what has been his argument in recent days: that the protesters were taking a stand against patriotism and military service members. "I don't think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem,"&nbsp;he said."I've heard that before, about, 'Was I preoccupied?' "&nbsp;Trump added. "Not at all, not at all. I have plenty of time on my hands. All I do is work. And to be honest with you, that's an important function of working &mdash;&nbsp;is called respect for our country.&rdquo;A Department of Defense assessment concluded that Puerto Rico&rsquo;s entire electrical system is damaged and almost half of the population lacks drinking water. One of every 7 hospitals is without fuel or power needed for machines assisting patients.Trump said part of the difficulty in getting adequate supplies to Puerto Rico is its location."It's the most difficult job because it's on the island &mdash;&nbsp;it's on an island in the middle of the ocean. It's out in the ocean,"&nbsp;he said. "You can't just drive your trucks there from other states."Returning to the subject later, the president said, "This isn't like Florida, where we can go right up the spine, or like Texas, where we go right down the middle and we distribute. This is, you know, a thing called the Atlantic Ocean. This is tough stuff."Trump said that as he spoke, U.S. officials were unloading "massive"&nbsp;amounts of food, water and supplies for Puerto Rico, whose 3.5 million residents are American citizens.The president announced earlier&nbsp;that he would visit Puerto Rico next week on Tuesday."The governor has been so incredible in his &mdash;&nbsp;in his statements about the job we're doing,"&nbsp;Trump said. "We're doing a great job."Trump also used the news conference to reiterate a threat to North Korea. Its foreign minister&nbsp;said that Trump's previous statements constituted a declaration of war, and that Pyongyang may take aim at U.S. military planes flying nearby.Trump has repeatedly dismissed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man," or "Little Rocket Man," a reference to the nation's development of nuclear weapons and its frequent missile&nbsp;test launches.&nbsp;Asked for his reaction to the threats from North Korea, Trump said that the U.S. was "totally prepared for the second option"&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;a military option."Not a preferred option, but if we take that option, it will be devastating &mdash;&nbsp;I can tell you that &mdash;&nbsp;devastating for North Korea,"&nbsp;he said. "That's called the military option. If we have to take it, we will."As he has previously, Trump blamed past presidents for failing to curb North Korea's nuclear advances."It could have been handled much more easily. Yet various administrations, many &mdash;&nbsp;which left me a mess,"&nbsp;he said. "But I'll fix the mess."