Trump slams Puerto Rico mayor for ‘poor leadership’, says ‘they’ want everything ‘done for them’

Posted on: September 30th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump slammed the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital city for “poor leadership” a day after the mayor criticized a Trump administration official’s positive assessment of the situation in the hurricane-ravaged U.S. territory.

Trump also suggested politics lay at the heart of the critical comments by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, claiming that she has “been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”

He suggested officials or people on the island — it is not clear exactly who the president is referring to — are not doing enough themselves to recover from the crisis left by Hurricane Maria, that “they want everything to be done for them.”

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.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

…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….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

…want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

Later in the afternoon, Trump tweeted about conversations he had with U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp, and tweeted out praise for Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico.

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, is a great guy and leader who is really working hard. Thank you Ricky!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

Just spoke to Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands who stated that #FEMA and Military are doing a GREAT job! Thank you Governor!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico has been wonderful to deal with and a great representative of the people. Thank you!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

Trump then tweeted out a message calling for unity in offering assistance to everyone suffering in Puerto Rico, and told the country’s residents not to believe the “fake news.” As of Saturday morning, 95 percent of customers are without power in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

We must all be united in offering assistance to everyone suffering in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the wake of this terrible disaster.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

To the people of Puerto Rico:
Do not believe the #FakeNews!#PRStrong🇵🇷

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda comes to mayor’s defense

The president’s criticism of the San Juan mayor drew a strong response from some on Twitter, including famed “Hamilton” creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Addressing Trump directly, Miranda said Cruz “has been working 24/7” while “you have been golfing.”

Trump sent his tweets Saturday from his golf club in New Jersey.

She has been working 24/7.
You have been GOLFING.
You're going straight to hell.
Fastest golf cart you ever took.

— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) September 30, 2017

Mayor Cruz responds: ‘This isn’t about me’

Cruz responded to Trump’s criticism on Saturday, saying in an interview on MSNBC, “I was asking for help. I wasn’t saying anything nasty about the president.”

“This isn’t about me,” the mayor said. “We have one goal — it is to save lives.”

“This is a time when everyone shows their true colors,” she added. “I will continue to do what I have to do, say what I have to say, compliment the people that I have to compliment, and call out the people that I need to call out.”

‘This is not a good news story,’ Cruz said

Trump’s turning on the San Juan mayor comes after she blasted his Homeland Security chief’s referring to the relief efforts as “a good news story,” with roads getting cleared and most of the island now accessible.

Elaine Duke, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary, later said that while she is “proud” of the federal response to the destruction on the island, the situation on the ground is still “not satisfactory.”

Duke’s remarks Friday afternoon came after San Juan’s mayor blasted her earlier comments. “This is not a good news story. This is a ‘people are dying’ story,” Mayor Cruz said in an interview on Friday morning.

“Maybe from where she’s standing, it’s a good news story. When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story,” Cruz said. “I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me.”

The mayor also said she had a “message” for Trump, asking him to “step up” relief efforts for the “entire island of Puerto Rico,” not just the capital of San Juan.

“This is a message for President Trump: Thank you for calling San Juan yesterday and listening for our mayday call. There are 77 other towns that are waiting anxiously and will be very grateful to you and to the American people if you continue to step up to the moral imperative that you have taken on all over the world to help those in need. So help us,” Cruz said.

Trump visiting Puerto Rico on Tuesday

Following Trump’s tweets Saturday morning, a senior White House official was asked whether the president will meet with Cruz when he visits the U.S. territory on Tuesday.

The White House official said, “Not sure. She has been invited to FEMA command center several times to see operations and be part of efforts but so far has refused to come. Maybe too busy doing TV?”

The president blames the media

Trump praised military and first responders for the relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job. Puerto Rico was totally destroyed.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

He also, on Saturday morning, criticized the media, claiming that some outlets are disparaging the relief work of soldiers and first responders on the island.

Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to “get Trump.” Not fair to FR or effort!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

Later, on Saturday afternoon, the president posted another message that, while slamming the media, appeared to attempt to strike a positive tone about the “amazing job being done” on the island. “Great people,” Trump wrote. It is unclear if he was praising first responders again or others in the U.S. territory.

Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job is being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

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