Published: Mon, October 02, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Trump Keeps Praising Response to Puerto Rico Crisis, Blasts "Politically Motivated Ingrates"


The call came hours after United States president Donald Trump questioned the leadership of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz who pleaded for federal aid.

After San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz complained in impassioned remarks that, "We are dying here, and I can not fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world can not figure out logistics for a small island", Trump unleashed a Twitter rant.

Tensions over Washington's handling of the recovery effort boiled over Friday as a tearful Cruz said at a press conference, "We are dying here" and called on President Trump to put someone in charge of the relief effort who "is up to the task of saving lives".

President Trump said the governor is a partner in the recovery effort.

Trump touted the federal government's response on the island, saying the workers there are doing "a fantastic job".

Destroyed electrical posts by Hurricane Maria is seen in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, on September 30, 2017.

"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 charged, without substantiation.

On Tuesday, he's due to visit Puerto Rico, where Maria killed at least sixteen people and left numerous island's 3.4 million residents without power and water.

"I'm amazed that he has the gall to say Puerto Ricans expect everything to be done for them", said Griselmarie Alemar of Stratford, Connecticut.

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San Juan resident Judith Berkan said power shortages and long lines for cash, food, gasoline and medical attention were wearing people down. "That's all that matters", she said.

When NBC News executive Janelle Rodriguez sends someone new to Puerto Rico, she makes sure they bring extra suitcases packed with water and non-perishable food.

He issued his latest attack on San Juan's mayor from his golf resort in New Jersey, where Trump was attending the President's Cup tournament on Sunday.

She continued: "I would ask you (Duke) to come down here and visit the towns and then make a statement like that, because frankly, it is an irresponsible statement in contrast with the statements of support that I have been getting yesterday when I got that call from the White House. And they deserve all the help we can give them, and they deserve to have it faster", said Lt. Gen. Buchanan.

Cruz responded by saying she would do whatever she had to do to save lives on the island.

Most of Puerto Rico's 3.4 million residents are entering their 11th day without power, and 16 deaths have been reported so far.

Mulvaney said some people were looking for reasons to snipe at the Trump administration and that the public should consider the administration's actions over words.

Cruz became involved in Puerto Rico's Popular Democratic Party in 2003, and was elected president of its women's organization. Ricardo Rosello said only 40 percent of people in Puerto Rico had potable water. Our Revolution says she has made San Juan "the first and only municipality" on the island where employees have the right to collective bargaining, made steps towards a local version of a universal health care plan, and is an advocate for gender equality, LGBT rights, and rights for disabled people.

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