White House: San Juan mayor to attend Trump briefing

White House: San Juan mayor to attend Trump briefing
© Getty Images

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has indicated she will attend an event during President Trump's scheduled Tuesday visit to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico after the two have publicly criticized each other's responses to the storms, according to a White House spokesperson.

According to the itinerary released Monday evening by the White House, the president and first lady Melania Trump will travel to Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan to receive a briefing about the relief and rescue efforts after Hurricane Maria brought damage and destruction to the island last month.

A White House spokesperson said in an email Monday night that Cruz has indicated she will attend this briefing.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Trumps are also expected to visit "individuals impacted by Hurricane Maria."

And then the president is scheduled to meet with Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) and U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp (R) for a "briefing with senior military personnel.”

Cruz's appearance will come after she sharply rebuked the federal government's handling of the disaster relief last week.

“If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency,” she said Friday.

Trump then criticized Cruz on Twitter early Saturday, accusing the mayor of exhibiting poor leadership in the midst of the recovery efforts and claiming Puerto Rican leaders want the federal government to do everything for them.

The White House said Monday during the daily press briefing that it had reached out to Cruz about joining "the events tomorrow."

"Look, right now our focus is to bring the mayor into the coordination efforts," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

"This administration, as well as other members on the ground, have reached out to her. We hope that she will join with us in those efforts and be a part of things. She's been invited to participate in the events tomorrow, as well.  And we hope that those conversations will happen and we can all work together to move forward," she continued.

The administration has come under fire from critics who say it is failing to help the island as a majority of its 3.4 million residents struggle with widespread power outages, collapsed infrastructure and ongoing shortages of water and supplies in the wake of the powerful storm. The White House has defended its response to the crisis.

— Updated at 11:43 p.m.