White House says Puerto Rico must fix its debt problem: CNN interview
FILE PHOTO: White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speaks about of U.S. President Donald Trump's budget in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

 White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Wednesday backed away from U.S. President Donald Trump's comments a day earlier calling for the storm-hit island's debt to be wiped out.

In an interview on CNN, the Office of Management and Budget director said Trump was referring to Puerto Rico's need to fix its own debt issues through its oversight board.

"I wouldn't take it word for word," Mulvaney said of Trump's comments late Tuesday.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey)