Trump attacks San Juan mayor over Puerto Rico hurricane relief


President Trump in an early morning tweet on Wednesday doubled down on his defense of the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico while taking aim at one of its frequent critics, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. 

“We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan).” Trump tweeted. “We are ready for the big one that is coming!” 

{mosads}The tweet comes as the administration prepares for Hurricane Florence’s landfall later this week near the Carolinas and Virginia. When asked by reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday what he had learned from the response to Hurricane Maria, which reportedly killed nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, he called it “an incredible, unsung success.” 

Cruz then sent out several tweets criticizing the president’s comments, saying, “Trump simply does not get it. Thus his neglect towards Puerto Rico cost about 3,000 lives. Unfortunately, it seems he will never get it.” 

“Success? Federal response according to Trump in Puerto Rico a success? If he thinks the death of 3,000 people [is] a success God help us all,” she added.

Cruz was also critical of the president in the immediate aftermath of Maria and asked for more aid, citing circumstances on the ground.

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

Trump in a subsequent tweet said his administration is “supplied and ready” for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall later this week in the Carolinas.

“Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated. It will be arriving soon” he tweeted.

— This report was updated at 7:46 a.m.

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