President Donald Trump lashed out at the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on social media early Saturday, criticizing her for “poor leadership ability” in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
“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.” the president tweeted. “They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.
On Friday, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz criticized a Trump administration official who said the federal relief effort 10 days after the Category 4 hurricane hit the island commonwealth was “a good news story,” Reuters reported.
Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, head of the parent department for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said on Thursday she was satisfied with the disaster response so far.
“I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane,” Duke said.
“Damn it, this is not a good news story,” Cruz told CNN. “This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a life or death story.
“It is not a good news story when people are dying.”
Trump lauded the effort of first responders to Puerto Rico, saying they have done “an amazing job” despite a lack of electricity, damaged roads and no road service.
In another tweet, he blamed “Fake News CNN and NBC” for going out of their way “to disparage our great First responders.
“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,” the president tweeted.
Trump said he will travel to Puerto Rico on Tuesday with first lady Melania Trump. He added that he also hopes to stop in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where people are “working hard.”
After a barrage of criticism, Trump responded Saturday afternoon on Twitter.
Trump did thank Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello and congreswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon as well as U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp.